Automat, a company specializing in artificial intelligence-driven marketing, unveiled on Thursday its new Beauty.bot website, aimed at bringing together beauty brands, tech vendors, developers, consumers and others interested in the use of messaging-based applications in the beauty industry.
The site’s main features include a directory of beauty bots organized by industry category and messaging platforms on which they can be used; case studies on specific beauty bots, such as those from L'Oréal, Cover Girl and Sephora; and industry news and other curated content about chatbots and conversational marketing.
The .bot domain is provided by Amazon Registry Services and is meant to "facilitate bot discoverability and education," according to Automat.
Chatbots have begun to take the retail sector by storm, with retailers, e-commerce players and product brands in various segments rolling out bots on messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger and Kik.
This sort of .bot web resource holds the promise to help industries, and the consumers they serve find, track and better understand the chatbots most relevant to them.
Industries and individual companies may have as much to learn as consumers. Chatbots and conversational commerce in general remain at an early stage and continue to evolve.
Many of the earliest chatbot were launched in the beauty sector, with parties such as Sephora and Modiface leading the way. That embrace of new technologies is part of what defined success for beauty brands in a rollercoaster year for other retail and marketing segments.
What that means now is that the beauty sector is home not only to a lot of chatbots, but also bots that have matured to provide richer interactions with customers through the use of AI and more advanced features.
Automat deserves some credit for recognizing the valuable role that a segment-specific domain like Beauty.bot could play in the ongoing evolution of chatbots. Amazon Registry Services made the .bot domain available just a few months ago, and at that time only developers that were registered users of Amazon Lex, Google Dialogflow and Microsoft Bot Framework were eligible to claim .bot names (though it expanded availability to more developers earlier this month, according to Domain Name Wire.)
Not everyone believes in chatbots just yet — one recent study suggested 60% of marketers aren't prioritizing them — but as retailers and brands in more segments begin to explore what bots can do for them, we are likely to see more .bot sites with retail relevance to help guide the evolution.